Now and then, in this workaday world, things do happen in the delightful storybook fashion, and I dare say this is one of those times. For as much joy as I derived from writing my beloved Pickwick Portfolio and my one-act plays, I felt a new medium would be most appropriate to continue my literary journey. However, Medium itself felt rather impersonal an arrangement for which to air my most intimate thoughts, so here we find ourselves on Substack.

I find the many modes of expression available rather fascinating, as they all seem at their core the same—a way for ideas and emotions to be consumed. My earliest fans (my sisters) will say that while I am a rare talent who shines on any platform upon which I find myself, you absolutely must pay the monthly subscription fee to get the full sense of my genius and unique perspective. The free version does not do justice to my eloquence and cannot encompass my peerless worldview. So be a dear and support this unparalleled artist in her work by clicking that SUBSCRIBE button below.

Onto the news of the world. My sister Amy is visiting France at the moment, and I must say, from her reports, it sounds quite dull and unpleasant. The shops are all closed due to the workers taking a month-long holiday, so she and Laurie just sit in the gardens all day and stroll along the Seine at night. France is supposed to be known for its artistic achievements, but how can one enjoy such achievements if the museums and salons are closed? Fear not, my dearest patrons, for my newsletter will be accessible to you wherever your travels may lead you—so long as you have a paid monthly subscription. Our free subscribers will have to wait until they arrive home for such enamoring travelogues.

Speaking of art, Amy has said it has been a rather prolific time for her in terms of her painting. While I am glad my baby sister has become such a diligent student of her craft, her artistic abilities are somewhat happenstance. Had she not been selected by Aunt March to go to Europe for the summer, she would not have been afforded such a lavish artistic education, and therefore would have had to acquire another skill for herself. I was quite surprised she took to arts, as she never seemed to enjoy my writing. Remember when she threw my first full-length manuscript in the fire? They say jealousy is a green-eyed monster, but it seems to have colored itself blue just for Amy.

(Should you become a paying member of my readership community, you, too, could be the envy of your own sisters!)

Aunt March’s home suits my family well, but I rather yearn for our New York days. As some of you may already know (as is a perk of being one of my financiers—from my one-woman plays to here on Substack, they get my best stories well in advance. Subscribe below to become one of them!), I spent six months in New York City with a friend of my mother’s at her boarding house. There, after work, I was free to write and attend parties and meet all sorts of interesting people, including my beloved Bhaer. And while he remains the apple of my eye after all these years, I pine for an evening in a warm, crowded pub in the Lower East Side, teeming with artists and intellectuals and brilliant literary minds such as myself. But alas, maybe it is finally my time to grow up. Perhaps Meg will be right for the first time in all her years.

Ah, there’s Bhaer now, calling for me. Seems one of the boys has struck his brother with a stick of some sort, so one is crying, and the other is bleeding, and everyone needs attending to. I dote on my boys, but I do wonder about the old Jo, whom Meg once described as “the gull, strong and wild, fond of the storm and the wind, flying far out to sea, and happy all alone.” Would she still live in New York? Would she have written more novels and more plays, or ventured into new genres? I’ll tell you one thing; she certainly would have supported young female writers by subscribing to newsletters such as this one.

For more musings about whether or not I made a mistake getting married and starting a family, become a paid subscriber and check back next week for that exclusive content. Through the Christmas season, new subscribers will get access to my complete archives—newsletters, plays, short stories, basically everything I’ve ever written—plus an additional newsletter every week containing my beloved Poet’s Corner, and an extra-special bonus conversation with Laurie where we engage with your most salacious inquiries. It would be a travesty to miss such enthralling tales, right?

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